Marvel is reportedly planning its first movie with an Asian lead

Marvel Developing Shang Chi as Its First Asian Superhero Movie Dave Callaham Set as Writer Reports

In terms of what Marvel hopes to accomplish with Shang-Chi, the immediate reference point is Black Panther, which utilized African-American filmmakers and an nearly all-black cast to create a world and story steeped in African culture and themes that resonated with African and African-American audiences.

As Marvel Studios prepares for Captain Marvel, the studio is already thinking about it's next blockbuster. As conceived by Steve Englehart and Jim Starlin, Shang-Chi is the son of Fu-Manchu.

According to Deadline, Marvel studios has put Chinese-American writer Dave Callaham in charge of writing the screenplay and is now looking for potential Asian and Asian-American directors to head the film.

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Marvel is fast-tracking a Shang-Chi movie, which will be the studio's first film featuring an Asian protagonist. His father, a powerful mastermind set on global domination, has him raised in a compound where he is trained in martial arts until he is ready to go out into the world to do his father's bidding. The goal is to have a film with a hero that blends Asian and Asian-American themes. And since a movie brings a bigger budget than a TV series, you can expect to see the mystical side of Shang-Chi's mythos explored more on the big screen. He first appeared in 1973 in Special Marvel Edition #15 as a martial arts expert and remained a strong seller for a decade amid the popularity of martial arts in the United States. Marvel managed to avoid those stereotypes in Iron Man 3 with Ben Kingsley's interpretation of The Mandarin, but the studio encountered some blowback for hiring Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One in Doctor Strange a few years later. Callaham has had a hand in co-writing Wonder Woman 1984, and he's now at work on a sequel to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

Jessie Wade is a news writer at IGN and loves the idea to develop more diverse Marvel movies.

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